Courage for Change

IMG_1779 (1)How do I encompass a life—mind, body, spirit and attitude-changing experience into 1-2 paragraphs?  I don’t know, but here’s my truth.
I’ve been a part of Pathways for five months now.  I am three years and eight months sober.  Heroin, alcohol, and the streets were my master.  Self-love was far from my existence for many years.  Thoughts of suicide were always on my mind—many attempts were made but God didn’t let me go.  I hid my shame and fear behind my needle; my shame of abuse by men, of myself, and of my fear of the world.
Upon entering into Pathways I was lost in sobriety, but in an abusive relationship again.  I felt as if my purpose in life was so much more.  I struggled with working full time. I felt like I had no time, energy, or money to support myself.  It felt as if I was stuck again, only this time sober and slipping into a deep depression.  I thought I would finally give myself a chance and write down my story.
When I got accepted into Pathways I had no idea what was ahead.  This is a beautiful team of people who have shown more love and support and patience than I have ever encountered.  They have given me tool after tool and resource after resource to take care of myself.  I am actually proud of the strong, independent young woman I am becoming.  Life is precious, as am I. I wouldn’t be able to say and believe these things if it weren’t for all the support I have gained through Pathways.  My sponsor, Dave, my mentor, Deanna, and my therapist—I owe them not just my life but a life well-lived, making healthy decisions while being happy.  Words cannot possibly express my gratitude for a chance at a new life with Pathways, so I will have to show it in my actions by going to school and applying myself the best I can.  To be able to go to bed and wake up and not want to kill myself, but to feel safe and protected and accomplished, is a feeling I can never repay.  I am currently going to OCC, working on my AS degree.  I’m not entirely sure what my major is going to be, but I would love to help people one day.
I’ll leave you with the mantra my sponsor gave me:
“I love and approve of myself, and I trust the process of life.”